In 1940, an insurance agent sold an $800K policy on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and secretly pocketed the premium, believing the new bridge to be indestructible. The bridge collapsed spectacularly 4 months after opening, and the agent was jailed for fraud.
A bridge in Ireland that was designed to swing open for ships couldn’t be opened for four years because someone lost the remote control.
In 1968 US businessman Robert P McCulloch bought London Bridge for $2,460,000 plus shipping costs of around $240,000 and moved it to the Arizona desert. Instead of applying the 11% import tax for granite, US customs declared the 137-year-old bridge to be an “antique” and therefore duty-free.
In 1998, Honduras finished building a large bridge over the river Choluteca. In the same year, flooding from Hurricane Mitch rerouted the river Choluteca, so now the bridge goes over dry land.
Despite ancient Roman bridges being the first large and lasting bridges ever built, many are still used despite being around 2,000 years old.
In 1848, to begin construction on the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge, engineers needed to secure a line across the 800-foot chasm. The lead engineer held a kite-flying contest and eventually paid a local boy $5 for securing the first line over the river.
One out of every four bridges in America either carries more traffic than originally intended or is in need of repair.
On May 24, 1987, 300 000 people walked across the Golden Gate Bridge to celebrate its 50th anniversary. It sagged 7 feet.
There is a tribe in India that has passed down for generations the art of manipulating tree roots to create a system of “living” bridges.